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Split any question post with two or more questions into several posts (per the number of questions) and attribute it to the asker

+2
−7

It can be tempting for askers to put more than one question in a post because it has the illusion of saving time, at least for the poster and maybe also for community members.

You might want to consider splitting any post with at least two different unrelated questions (not a "I mean to ask" second phrasing question), into several posts per the number of actual unrelated questions.

Maybe, the moment a mod recognized two or more questions the post will be locked and the mod will start splitting it (after any question which isn't the first was splitted, the post with the original question would be opened).

  • The attribution would be both to the OP and to the mod

  • If a post was already answered as is, an exception would be made (it won't be splitted)

  • I can't say the same for answer posts, because answers are built pretty much directly upon question posts

  • Such practice would promise modularity, reasonable longevity of question and answer posts and with the right editing it is also good for SEO

Mods already edit posts, so why not split them if they are obviously contain two different unrelated questions?

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3 comment threads

Well, without being rude, but if you really don't want to put some effort into your post, so really r... (4 comments)
Partially agree (1 comment)
Agree up to "All splits will be attributed to the asker, not to a mod who did the split" (2 comments)

3 answers

+6
−0

Some questions are closely related, and therefore are better combined in a single question post. Answering such individual questions separately would be more trouble, would likely require duplicate work, and possibly cross-references to the other related questions or their answers.

It is the questioner's responsibility to think about what they are asking and separate the logical concepts as appropriate. This is just one responsibility of question authors, along with doing some reasonable prior research, writing the question coherently, and in understandable English.

Use comments to provide feedback, and voting to pass judgement.

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1 comment thread

`Some questions are closely related, and therefore are better combined in a single question post. Ans... (1 comment)
+5
−0

Sometimes several questions are closely related and are best handled as a group, as this answer says.

Sometimes the asker (who is, pretty much by definition, less expert than the people who will answer the question) can't tell whether questions are closely related and should be handled together. I've been in that position at times. I've found it's best to approach this case by asking a main question, identifying what I think are sub-questions, and asking for correction if they're not really related so I can edit them out and ask them separately. An asker in this situation is probably monitoring notifications and can respond pretty promptly if it turns out edits are needed.

Sometimes the asker hasn't thought through it, or asks a bunch of things together that aren't really related. I think the asker is the one who needs to sort that out. Community members should try to provide constructive feedback in comments, but we shouldn't try to make large fixes on behalf of the asker when we don't really know the asker's intent or which parts of the question are most important. The most I would feel comfortable doing in a third-party edit is to remove all but one question (the text is still available in the edit history) and invite the asker to ask those questions separately -- but I wouldn't create those questions myself unless I had another reason to do so (see final paragraph).

If a question isn't in a state that it should be answered, it should be closed pending corrective edits. This avoids the problem of sorting out answers to these multi-questions later.

If the asker doesn't address the issue after some time and somebody wants to answer one of those questions, that person can re-ask that part and then self-answer.

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0 comment threads

+4
−1

We are not here to clean up behind authors. More importantly, we shouldn't ever make substantive changes to the posts of others.

Authors will be judged, positively or negatively, on what they write and how they write it. You can make suggestions to authors about improving posts, but the authors are not obligated to follow them.

In the end, all you really get to do is judge a post as it is. If you think it is badly written, downvote it. If you do that, though, please leave a comment explaining what you didn't like. Silent downvotes do the site a disservice, and leave the post author without any guidance as to what to fix or what you objected to. It also allows the author to ping you if they think they've addressed the issue. That gives you an opportunity to retract the downvote if you think the issue was adequately addressed.

We also don't want authors to rely on the system to clean up their messes. As we've seen Elsewhere, when you fix a mess for someone and then proceed as normal, they'll be back doing the same thing again, no matter how many comments you leave explaining what they shouldn't do. Correcting anything beyond obvious spelling errors and minor grammar has been proven not to work in the long run.

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1 comment thread

`Correcting anything beyond obvious spelling errors and minor grammar has been proven not to work in ... (1 comment)

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